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BOEING'S AVENGER PRODUCTION EXTENDED INTO LATE 1990S

 BOEING'S AVENGER PRODUCTION EXTENDED INTO LATE 1990S
 HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boeing Defense &


Space Group Missiles & Space Division, with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a $436 million contract by the U.S. Army Missile Command to produce 679 Pedestal Mounted Stinger/Avenger fire units, bringing to 1,004 the total number of Avenger units purchased by the Army since 1987.
 The original Avenger contract, a $16 million first production lot contract for 20 fire units, was awarded to the Boeing Defense & Space Group in 1987 following a rigorous competitive testing and review program by the U.S. Army. Since then the original contract has increased in value to $232.6 million as the Army has exercised additional contract options.
 The multi-year contract provides for production for four consecutive years rather than the standard annual contract purchase. It is the first contract ever awarded by the government for the production of a non-development item (NDI) weapons system product independently developed by private industry for the U.S. government.
 The Avenger contract includes two military orders -- one for 600 Avenger fire units for the Army and another for 79 Avenger fire units for the U.S. Marine Corps.
 Avenger was developed in 1983 and 1984 by Boeing to meet a critical U.S. Army need for an inexpensive, effective, lightweight air defense system using the Stinger missile. The system carries eight Stingers in two pods ready for rapid firing from a gyro-stabilized turret mounted atop the Army's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
 "The multi-year contract is a major accomplishment for our Avenger program and the employees who have been working on this contract since June 1990," said Boeing Avenger Program Manager Ross Dessert.
 "The contract will be beneficial to both Boeing and our customer. For us, it means we will be able to sustain our current production rates on a long-term basis. For the Army, it means reduced risk, increased efficiency and long-term savings by locking in today's prices for a proven weapon system purchased in quantity rather on an annual basis."
 Typically, U.S. Congressional multi-year reports have shown that multi-year contracts provide substantial savings over annual contract purchases.
 Prior to signing the new contract, Boeing had 325 fire units under contract with deliveries scheduled into late 1992. Production and delivery of the multi-year units will begin in January 1993 with completion in early 1997.
 Besides the multi-year contract, the Avenger program achieved several milestones in the past year. In January 1991 the program delivered its 100th fire unit and in September 1991 the program achieved a production rate of 12 units per month. Boeing's independent research for the development of a second complimentary missile for Avenger also successfully met its 1991 milestones by completing tests that proved Avenger's ability to adapt to other types of missile systems.
 Although the multi-year contract makes Avenger a 10-year program for Boeing, company officials hope to see the program extend beyond that period. Additional contracts from the Army and Marine Corps as well as other branches of the U.S. military and foreign sales could bring the total number of Avenger units to well over 2,000.
 -0- 2/20/92
 /CONTACT: Kari Hawkins or Peri Widener of Boeing Alabama, 205-461-2805/ CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group ST: Alabama IN: ARO SU:


BN-CF -- AT018 -- 1143 02/20/92 17:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 20, 1992
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